Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $13.95
  • Save: $3.35 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Girls of Slender Mean... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Published 1998, softcover. All pages are clean.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Girls of Slender Means (New Directions Classic) Paperback – April 17, 1998

3.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

See all 27 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$10.60
$7.42 $0.01

Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Discover what to read next through the Amazon Book Review. Learn more.
$10.60 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Girls of Slender Means (New Directions Classic)
  • +
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: A Novel
Total price: $18.85
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

"Spark, as usual, has perfectly plotted and peopled this giddy world of postwar delirium and girls' dormitory life," said LJ's reviewer of this satirical novel (LJ 10/1/63), which follows the low-income female inhabitants of London's May of Teak Club in the summer of 1945. Spark is always worth having.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From The New Yorker

Muriel Spark's novels linger in the mind as brilliant shards, decisive as a smashed glass is decisive.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Classic
  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; Paper Only edition (April 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081121379X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811213790
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is one of Muriel Spark's most deftly written novels, right up there with her best: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Comforters. The writing here glimmers with wit and polish. It is as if the smartiest, wittiest, greatest storyteller in your life were telling this to you over the best dinner of your life in a cafe in Nice; you've gone through two bottles of wine, the candles are dying and the staff is dying to go home---but you must hear the story to the end! And when you do, you smile all over. You are thrilled to have been told this devilish tale.
Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This has got to be one of the best novels ever, and practically anything pertaining to the mid- to late-20th century worth writing about is here. The consistent wit is a usual for Spark, but the warmth and even familiarity she shows for her (and with her) characters is rare. And just because it's not the size of War and Peace doesn't mean it lacks depth, meaning, power or insight into human nature. It has all that, and Dame Spark did it with elegance and style. Read it
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
there are so many girls at the may of teck club ( group housing for 'the girls of slender means)- with so many third person points of view, that one almost needs a chart to keep them straight- who's rationing what? who's dating whom?
a few of the girls stand out, but their tales are so intermingled, & their lives so distantly described that i had a hard time caring. but as a fan of muriel spark's work, i kept at it, and was well paid off by the poignant & shocking ending.
spark did quite the job of showing the reader wartime london- with its' almost purposeful frivolities, willfullness to get on, and its' crushing realities.
i recommend it to fans of her work. i suggest starting with the 'prime of miss jean brodie' if you've had no prior introduction.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Don't get me wrong this was a good book but I got confused with all the characters. It kind of jumped around from person to person and from the past to the present. It was interesting reading about the stories of each of the girls. It didn't really seem to follow a story line. The story finally began to come together at the great ending then just kind of stopped. Not the best book I've ever read but its worth reading anyway.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Girls of Slender Means, are a group of girls that live in post-war London in 1945, and reside at the May of Teck Club, which is a hostel or group home. In the present, one of the characters, Jane Wright, who does "brain work" in the "world of books", is trying to contact all of the other girls who were in the May of Teck Club with her, to inform them of an event that takes place.
This book is written in many characters points of view, and at first I had trouble keeping up with who was who. The book also jumps from past to present, and it takes a second to figure out which year you are in. The ending of this book was a little shocking, which makes it worth reading. This is a very short novel; however the writing style makes it a little harder to read. Muriel Spark throws in poetry at random places, and repeats it over and over (one of the girls is teaching elocution), which seems to halt the story as much as her jumping from viewpoint and time period.

Overall opinion:

I wouldn't really recommend this book to anyone, but I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it either. I don't regret reading this book, but I definitely won't read it again.

Please see more of my reviews at [...]
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
3.5

This book, it seemed as I read, wanted me to think it frivolous. Oh, what a cute, slim little thing, chronicling the lives and loves of “the girls of slender means,” living under one roof in the bombed-out London of 1945! But there’s something deceptively clever and meaningful about focusing on the worries of teens and 20-somethings between WWII victories over Germany and Japan (cosmetic care being thwarted by rations, the importance of preserving one Schiaparelli dress, passed around among the entire May of Teck Club, one’s elocution, mastering the art of poetry recitation, etc.). Bigger things are going on internationally, and yet the very appeal of these girls is their relative indifference, innocence and general carefree attitude toward the “bigger things.” In this specific time and place, the girls of slender means are fascinating and mysterious to the men who visit them (Nicholas' imagination is possessed by a "poetic image" of them), when they could just as easily seem ordinary, petty, dumb, or heartless in the wrong time and place, in a time and place when war hasn't ravaged a city and people aren't hankering for a return to a simpler, more frivolous, life. As a social commentary on the values of a post-war society, this book is astute.

And then there are sudden dark moments. The possibility of an undetonated bomb sitting just outside the club is a reminder of how precarious post-war life can be, how any measure of lightheartedness floats dangerously at the edge of destruction. Spark ends the book with a scene of shocking violence, totally unexpected and unexplained, and it feels so well placed.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Girls of Slender Means (New Directions Classic)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: The Girls of Slender Means (New Directions Classic)